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As a part of its policies aiming to further encourage Foreign Direct Investment and to attract high net worth individuals to settle and do business in Cyprus the Council of Ministers established the “Cyprus Investment Programme”.On the 13.2.2019 the Council of Ministers purposing, to ameliorate the “Cyprus Investment Programme”, introduced new criteria and terms based on which non–Cypriot entrepreneurs/investors and members of their families may submit applications in accordance with the provisionsof the “Programme”. According to the relevant decision of the Council of Ministers the revised “Programme” is put into effect from the date of its publication in the Government Gazette – i.e. the 26th of February 2019 – with the exception of certain clauses which the decision specifies that will be put into effect from the 15th of May 2019.Below you may find information on the clauses of the “Programme” that will be put into effect fromthe 15th of May 2019 and onwards, as well as on all the provisions of the “Cyprus Investment Programme” that will be in force from the 15th of May 2019 and onwards.

THE RECENT CHANGES TO CYPRUS INVESTMENT PROGRAMME

 

The main changes to the Cyprus Investment Programme which will take place on the 15th of May 2019.

– Investment requirement for residential properties is kept at €2,000,000. Investment in other sectors is €2,500,000. Any application which includes resale property already used for a previous Citizenship application by another applicant, increases the amount of investment for the New Application to €2,500,000.

– A donation of €75,000 for Research and Innovation will be mandatory.

– A donation of €75,000 to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation to fund affordable housing will be mandatory.

– The investment should be maintained for 5 years following the date of naturalization, instead of 3 years. During the 5-year period, the investor will be able to change his investment, provided that consent will be granted in this regard by the Ministry of Finance.

– If the investment is in real estate, a planning permit must be in place in order for such investment to qualify.

– Shipping will be included in the investment sectors, while investing in government bonds shall no longer be available.

– A limitation of 700 Applications Per Year

– Applicants will now need to be in possession of a Schengen visa when submitting an application

– An applicant who has applied for the acquisition of citizenship in any other Member State of the European Union and has been rejected will not be entitled to acquire Cypriot citizenship within the framework of the Cyprus Investment Programme.

– Due diligence and background checks shall be carried out by a specialized foreign firm for each and every application.

– The applicant should be in possession of a residence permit in the Republic of Cyprus for at least six months prior to naturalization as a Cypriot citizen.

Investors who are interested in obtaining Cyprus citizenship have the unique opportunity to save anything between €150,000 to €650,000 before new changes will come into effect.

Cyprus Investment Programme Law

On the basis of subsection (2) of section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2019.
One of the main objectives of the economic policy of the Republic of Cyprus is to further encourage foreign direct investment and to attract high net worth individuals to settle and conduct their business in Cyprus. Key factors that make Cyprus an attractive destination for investment, is the highly specialized human capital, the reliable legislative and regulatory framework, the stable tax system and the safety and stability conditions prevailing in the country.Within this framework and taking into account the strong investor interest, the Government of Cyprus has established and revised the “Cyprus Investment Programme” on the basis of subsection (2) of section 111A of the Civil Registry Laws of 2002-2019, with specific incentives, terms and conditions and control procedures in order to prevent abuse.

 
On the basis of the Programme, a non-Cypriot citizen may apply for the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship through naturalization by exception, if he/she fulfils the financial criterionA.1    and one of the financial criteria A.2-A.5, either personally or through a company/ companies in which he/she participates as a shareholder – in proportion to his/her holding percentage, or through investments done by his/her spouse or jointly with the spouse or even as a high-ranking senior manager of a company/ companies that fulfils the financial criterion A.1 and one of the financial criteria A.2-A.5,.Moreover, a high-ranking senior manager may apply, provided that he/she receives such a remuneration that generates for the Republic tax revenues of at least €100,000 over a three- year period and provided that this tax has already been paid or prepaid.The applicant should have made the necessary investments during the three years preceding the date of the application and must retain the said investments for a period of at least five years as from the date of the naturalization. It is understood that the investor may replace the investment during the said five-year period, provided that he/she has obtained beforehand an approval by the Ministry of Finance.In addition, the applicant must fulfil the Terms and Conditions set out in Part B.In case where, following a periodic inspection, it has been established that a Criterion, Term or Condition of the Programme has been breached, the granted naturalization may be revoked.None of the clauses mentioned in the Programme affects the absolute discretion of the Cabinet of Ministers on making a decision.

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